Sunday night’s episode of Sister Wives begins with the Browns on the verge of the Coronavirus pandemic, and like the rest of the world, not knowing what to expect. Also, the Browns also find themselves on the midst of a family breakdown.
The production crew from Sister Wives was unable to travel to Flagstaff, so interviews were filmed by remote-control cameras. And the family used cell phones to capture footage.
Businesses are closed. Schools are closed. Kody Brown and his wives all assemble in an online meeting, and Christine Brown can’t figure out how to make her screen have the correct orientation. Is anyone surprised by this?
Christine Brown isn’t even in Flagstaff. She traveled on from the wedding venue trip in Salt Lake City to visit Madison, Caleb, Axel, and Evangalynn Brush in North Carolina. Kody is afraid that Christine won’t be able to get back home. Robyn Brown is already quarantined her household because of her own prior pneumonia and Solomon Brown’s prior bout with RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Janelle Brown is taking it seriously and quarantining her household, having an extended spring break. Robyn seems to be the information hub, reading and learning about it and passing on her knowledge.
Christine is wondering when she and the kids gets back to Flagstaff, will they have to quarantine. Kody is proposing that as long as each wife keeps their kids at home and safe from exposure, they should still be able to be together as a family. Meri Brown jumps in that she thinks isolation and family time should be fine. She’s all on board with Kody’s Brown Pod Plan.
Janelle is excited to think that they might have more time as a family. But she realizes that the teenagers want to be out with their friends. Janelle is telling them to “be careful.” Meri is frustrated that some in the family might put all of the family at risk by not being careful and social distancing from others outside the family. Kodi thinks that if the family just hangs out with family, they can all hang out with each other all summer. But we all know things are never that simple with his wives.
Christine got back to Flagstaff as the city was shut down. She invited everyone over to her house, but the other wives did not come. Janelle wasn’t feeling well. Meri didn’t want to take any risks. Robyn is worried that Flagstaff has its first case of Coronavirus, and she’s scared.
Meri checks in on her daughter Mariah Brown and Audrey Kriss in Chicago. Mariah and Audrey decide they need to leave Chicago as soon as possible. Meri’s says she’s going to jump on a plane to help them get out. Kody is going to have to talk Meri down and reason with her.
Kody is going to give a ration-the-toilet-paper lesson. This should be reality TV gold! Kody talks about how to hold the toilet paper, getting one good wipe, not having fingers pushing through… and how many squares to use. Yuck! Apparently, Grandpa Bill, Meri’s dad, used to give a demonstration on how to use one square of toilet paper that Kody repeats and shows the family.
Meri Brown declares an emergency in order to have Kody come over to figure out what to do about Mariah and Audrey. Meri is panicked and feeling helpless. Kody’s walking the highwire trying to “work in the common sense” to talk her down. Kody is talking about all of the options, and that entire conversation didn’t include Meri. Kody says, “Meri thinks about Meri and Mariah and Audrey, and I am required to consider the entire family.” Kody tells them to pack and leave Chicago. He’s being very encouraging to Mariah and Audrey that they can do it themselves. Kody wants them to quarantine with Meri in Flagstaff before he exposes himself or the rest of the family to them.
Janelle makes a decision that Kody should not be staying at her house. Garrison Brown is still working. Their son Gabriel Brown is still seeing his friends. Janelle is struggling, but she also wants Kody to acknowledge her sacrifice. But Kody doesn’t understand why Garrison and Gabriel are still hanging with their friends and putting the family at risk. Kody is once again wishing that the entire family would make decisions instead of each wife making independent decisions for their household. This long-standing problem is hitting him square in the face when four women make four independent decisions that he needs to figure out how to navigate.
Kody thinks that everyone in the family needs to sacrifice and follow all of the protocols so that they can all remain healthy. Kody wants to accommodate the virus and still maintain the family. As usual with any Kody plan, there is resistance to this. But four wives talking at once isn’t working for him on this conference call. The women want Kody to stay put at different houses for longer visits. Kody has a huge reaction to anyone telling him what to do. He doesn’t want the wives to tell him what his schedule is going to be.
Janelle is always the steady voice of reason, but she’s not willing to tell her teen and adult children to stay at home. Each of these households are run differently. And, as usual, there is no consensus on exposure and equal sacrifice. The Browns are in the same position that the rest of the world in March of 2020. It seems that some are willing to do what’s needed for “the good of the family,” and others are not.
On the next episode, the Browns deal with the Arizona Governor’s stay-at-home order and the continued impact of the pandemic on their lives. In usual Brown fashion, more conflict is to come.
Sister Wives airs on Sundays at 10 pm, ET, on TLC.
Kelli Bergheimer is an opinionated redhead, reality tv junkie, and freelance writer for All About the Tea.